Warner's Study of Innovative Educators Featured in Entrepreneurship Newsletter

The inaugural issue of Innovations, Rochester’s University-wide entrepreneurship newsletter, highlights a story on Warner’s in-depth case studies of local educators who have demonstrated entrepreneurship qualities and behaviors in different domains of education.

Warner conducts groundbreaking study of innovative educators
By Natalie Yager Antal

Researchers at the Warner Graduate School of Education have embarked on a groundbreaking study of how entrepreneurship applies to education. By conducting in-depth case studies of local educators who have demonstrated entrepreneurial qualities and behaviors in different domains of education, the researchers hope to gain a better understanding of what it means and what it takes to be entrepreneurial in the field of education.

The case studies will also provide guidance in the creation of instructional materials for courses on entrepreneurship in education.

“Currently, very little is known about what it means to be an ‘entrepreneurial educator,’” said Raffaella Borasi, dean of the Warner School. “We want to empower educators to be more effective at what they are doing by learning and using specific entrepreneurial skills and processes.”

Five of the eight case studies have been completed. According to Borasi, her team anticipates the study will be finished this spring.

The research subjects, all from the greater Rochester area, range from an experienced urban elementary teacher to an assistant superintendent of a suburban school district to a chief executive of an educational nonprofit.

Borasi and seven other Warner faculty and doctoral students presented preliminary findings at the 2007 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Conference, an annual gathering of 25,000 educators from across the country. Rochester was the only university to present a study on entrepreneurship in education.

Borasi said these case studies reveal specific practices that educators can use to carry out innovations in education—and all subjects exhibited entrepreneurial skills and attitudes.

The Warner School plans to publish its findings in a book, tentatively titled Making Change in Education: Lessons Learned from Case Studies of Entrepreneurial Educators.

“We hope this study will be replicated in other cities,” said Borasi. “One of our goals for this project is to contribute to the literature available on entrepreneurship and education.”

To view the fall 2008 issue of Innovations visit: www.rochester.edu/entrepreneurship/pdfs/URInnovationsFall2008_Web.pdf

Tags: entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship in education